While the prospect of moving into a home that is bigger, better, nicer, and newer than the one you currently reside in is awfully appealing, the thought of having to pack up all your stuff for the move is no doubt abhorrent in equal measure. Anyone who has moved before (and that’s just about every homeowner out there) is well aware of the amount of time that goes into wrapping and packing up an entire household. And considering how much stuff we tend to collect over time, every move you make can become more difficult and time-consuming. But there are ways to make the tasks associated with moving a lot easier. Here are some tips for hassle-free moving that every homeowner looking to upgrade will want to take note of.
- Clear the clutter. The first thing you’ll want to do when you’re contemplating a move is go through every room in the house, one at a time, and clear out the clutter. There are likely items you can throw in the trash, as well as those that you’ll want to get rid of even though they’re still in good condition. On the second score you can set aside a pile for a garage sale, since everyone can use extra cash during a move. And anything left over at the end can go straight to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or some other charitable organization. You’ll benefit by having less to pack, a few extra bucks in your pocket, and a feeling of satisfaction that comes from helping others in need.
- Rid yourself of things you can’t move. Whether you’ve got furniture that’s simply too heavy to think about moving or you’re dealing with hazardous materials like propane tanks, paint thinner, motor oil, and fertilizer, just for example, there are certain items that really should be left behind, so to speak. It’s easy to get rid of unwanted furniture thanks to Craigslist. All you have to do is list it for free with a “you haul” addendum. As for hazardous materials, you’ll want to call your local waste management services (your trash collection company) for a special pickup.
- Pace yourself. Once you’ve gotten rid of stuff that you can’t or won’t take with you, it’s time to get down to the task of packing, and this can be overwhelming. It’s important, then, to pace yourself by setting a schedule that allows you to get everything accomplished with less stress. If you’re like most homeowners, you’re looking at a 30-90 day escrow. This should give you plenty of time to pack. You’ll want to address one room at a time, starting with those you use least, such as a guest room, den, or home office, and finishing with those you use most like the kitchen and bathrooms. You will, of course, want to leave a few items out until the last minute, but the essentials can likely be thrown into just a couple of boxes and placed in your car for transport.
- Procure proper packing materials. If you don’t want things to get broken, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have appropriate packing materials on hand. This is likely to include boxes of various sizes (although you should only pack lightweight items in the largest boxes), bubble wrap, packing paper, and of course, packing tape. You’ll also need markers to label boxes, and having some “fragile” stickers on hand for boxes containing breakable items is smart. Remember that you have to unpack, as well, so listing items on each box can help tremendously.
- Get help. There’s no reason to go it alone when it comes to packing. You should be able to bribe your friends with pizza in a time-honored tradition of reciprocation (especially if you helped them move at one time). But you might just want to shell out the dough for town to town movers. Most moving companies will pack up your stuff, move it, and put it where you want it in your new home (although they won’t unpack for you). This will cost you, but the time, hassle, and headaches it can save you might be well worth the expense.